Visit to Plant

Solar Plant Built on Disposal Site for Debris Produced by Volcanic Eruptions

Solar Frontier panels change to 'iridescent color'

2016/09/21 16:01
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The "SOL de Minamishimabara Futsu," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with an output of about 1MW, is located at the foot of Mount Unzen in Minamishimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: About 1MW-output "SOL de Minamishimabara Futsu" in Minamishimabara City. The mountains around Mount Unzen can be seen in the photo above. (source: Nikkei BP)

The solar plant is situated in an area affected by the eruptions of Mount Unzen-Fugen, which occurred from 1990 to 1997, and the subsequent regional restoration.

The power producer is Chopro Co Ltd (Nagayocho, Nagasaki Prefecture), which markets liquid petroleum (LP) gas and other products. Chopro operates solar power plants with a total output of about 15MW at 13 locations, primarily in Nagasaki Prefecture, with which it is familiar (See related article).

Kyudenko Corp provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to all those plants while Solar Frontier KK and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) supplied solar panels and PV inverters, respectively. As for mounting systems, products of Liechtenstein-based Hilti Corp were set up at most plants and tilted by 10°. The only exception, where different mounting systems were adopted, is this plant in Minamishimabara City.

As in the case of the other plants, generated power was initially sold to The Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc, but is now sold to Nagasaki Regional Electric Power (Nagayocho), a power retailer established by Chopro.

In August 2016, Chopro also started selling power generated at an about-30MW-output mega-solar power plant, which it had jointly developed with Solar Frontier on an adjoining site of Nagasaki Airport (See related article 2).